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What is Bluetooth© ? 
  • Bluetooth© is a new radio technology developed to deliver short-range wireless mobility. Bluetooth© eliminates cables/wires /cords between devices, such as mobile phones and headsets, and provides services when devices are in close proximity to one another. Bluetooth© facilitates fast, secure transmissions of both voice and data, even when the devices are not in line-of-sight.
What is a SIM card ? 
  • It stands for "Subscriber Identity Module"

  • A small, stamp-size "smart card" used in a cell phone.

  • The SIM card contains a microchip that stores data that identifies the user to the carrier. The data is also used to encrypt voice and data transmissions, making it nearly impossible to listen in on calls.

  • The SIM can also store phone book information - phone numbers and associated names.

  • The SIM, typically located under the battery, can easily be removed and placed in another phone. This will cause the new phone to instantly operate using the subscriber's existing phone number and account.

Glossary of Cellular Terms 
  • The name usually given to original GSM, CDMA, and TDMA networks. It uses the spectrum more efficiently than analog (1G) systems, and offers digital encryption of conversations. 2G networks introduced data services for mobiles starting with SMS.

  • Analog cellular phones were the first generation while digital marked the second generation.

  • 3G is loosely defined, but generally includes high data speeds, always-on data access, and greater voice capacity.

  • The high data speeds are possibly the most prominent feature, and certainly the most hyped. They enable such advanced features as live, streaming video.

  • There are several different 3G technology standards. The most prevalent is UMTS, which is based on WCDMA (the terms WCDMA and UMTS are often used interchangeably).

    3G Services  
  • 3G services render a market of personal mobile multimedia services and terminals able to access the Internet, Intranets and entertainment services.

  • In simple terms 3G services combine high speed mobile access with Internet Protocol (IP)-based services.

  • This render phones and other devices capable of accessing services ranging from mobile telephony to mobile multimedia services like voice, data and video.

  • Todayís networks are evolving to offer these service capabilities by introducing GPRS (a packet switching technology) or/and EDGE (for higher-speed radio connections).

    3GP Video  
  • 3GP is a simplified version of the MPEG-4 Part 14 (MP4) container format, designed to decrease storage and bandwidth requirements in order to accommodate mobile phones. It stores video streams as MPEG-4 Part 2 or H.263 or MPEG-4 Part 10 (AVC/H.264), and audio streams as AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AMR-WB+, AAC-LC or HE-AAC.

  • 3GP is designed for effieciency to make it suitable for Streaming across mobile phone networks and storing on mobile devices with very littel storage capacity. Video rarely exceeds a QVGA resolution of 320 x 240 pixels but there are VGA or even D1 resolution exceptions. Audio is usually encoded as either MP3 or AAC-LC (Low Complexity). Framerates for most mobile devices are Limited to 15fps.

  • There are two different standards for this format:

  • - 3GPP (for GSM-based Phones, may have filename extension .3gp)

  • - 3GPP2 (for CDMA-based Phones, may have filename extension .3g2)

  • Both are based on MPEG-4 and H.263 video, and AAC or AMR audio.

  • When transferred to a computer, 3GP movies can be viewed on Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms with MPlayer and VLC media player. Programs such as Media Player Classic, Totem, RealPlayer, QuickTime, and GOM Player can also be used. Some cell phones use the .mp4 extension for 3GP video.

  • 802.11 is a set of IEEE standards for wireless local area networks (WLAN). The most common variant is 802.11g, which is backwards compatible with the older B variant. 802.11g devices are sometimes marked as 802.11b/g to indicate this compatibility. There is a newer version - 802.11n - that provides higher maximum speeds and better range.

  • The 802.11g standard's typical speeds are rated up to 54 Mbps.

    A-GPS  [Assisted GPS]
  • Assisted GPS (A-GPS) is used to speed up start-up times of GPS-based positioning systems. GPS may have problems getting a lock when the signal is weak and in such a case A-GPS would assist in getting a lock.

  • This, however, is achieved by the use of an Assistance Server, so a data connection is required and charges may apply for the data transfer.

    A2DP  [Advanced Audio Distribution Profile]
  • A2DP is used for streaming stereo music wirelessly to headphones or speakers over Bluetooth.

  • Unlike other Bluetooth profiles (Headset and Handsfree), A2DP is one-way only and streams a stereo signal.

    AAC  [Advanced Audio Coding]
  • AAC is a file format for storing digital audio. It's commonly used for storing music on the Internet, PCs and portable music players and phones.

  • It is similar to MP3, but it was designed to be its successor and offers better quality and smaller file sizes. It also supports DRM, which enforces copyright.

  • AAC+ and AAC++ are newer versions of the standard.

  • The accelerometer is a built-in electronic component that measures tilt and motion. It is also capable of detecting rotation and motion gestures such as swinging or shaking.

  • The most common use for it is to activate auto screen rotation on mobile devices when the user changes their orientation from portrait to landscape or vice-versa.

  • Another modern application for the accelerometer is to control the mobile device music player with gestures (Sony Ericsson Shake control or Samsung Motion play technologies).

  • Accelerometers are also utilized for enriching the gaming controls (navigating by tilting the device instead of by pressing keys).

  • Another popular mobile phone feature based on an accelerometer is turn-to-mute. It allows user to mute an incoming call, silence an alarm or pause the mobile music player simply by turning the device face down.

    Airplane mode  
  • Known also as Airplane mode, this mode disables all radio parts of a mobile phone but leaves other functions available. These include music player, organizer and everything that doesn't require the radio transmitters.

  • This mode is required because most airlines forbid the use of wireless devices during flight. Some airlines do not allow the use of such devices even in Airplane mode.

  • There is an industry standard icon to signify that airplane mode is on but not all phones use it.

  • This mode is required for several reasons. Preventing interference with the airplane equipment is the best known one but another reason is that cell towers cannot handle phones moving at high altitudes and speeds.

    Air Interface  
  • A wireless network's operating system, enabling communication between a cellular phone and its carrier.

  • The main interface technologies are AMPS, TDMA, CDMA, GSM, and iDEN.

    Alarm Clock  
  • This is a feature allowing a mobile phone to act like a common alarm clock but with more flexibility.

  • Currently, all mobile phones offer this functionality with varying feature sets. For example, most devices allow you to set an unlimited number of alarms and set them to repeat on a daily or weekly basis. Some even allow a customizable snooze period and with the most advanced devices you can silence an alarm just by turning the device face down.

  • Using a favorite FM radio station as an alarm tone is also an option with some handsets.

  • Some phones require the device to be on for the alarm to work while others do not.

  • A string of characters containing both letters (A-Z) and numbers (0-9).

  • An alphanumeric text entry field will accept both letters and numbers. An alphanumeric keypad is one with both letters and numbers on the keys.

    AMOLED Display  [Advanced Audio Coding]
  • AMOLED is an emerging display technology used in portable devices like mobile phones. Active-matrix OLED displays provide the same performance as their passive-matrix OLED counterparts, but they consume significantly less power.

  • This advantage makes active-matrix OLEDs well suited for portable electronics where battery power consumption is critical.

    AMPS  [Advanced Mobile Phone Service]
  • The standard for analog cellular telephones which uses a frequency-modulated transmission and spacing to separate transmissions.

  • Operates in the 800 megahertz (MHZ) band.

    AMPS Modem  
  • A wireless modem designed for analog cellular phones.

  • A technology which utilizes a continuous "wave" of signal to carry information over radio channels.

  • Early cell phones all used analog technology.

  • Although analog phones are still common, the majority of new handsets are digital and some carriers no longer offer analog service.

  • Android is a Linux-based smartphone operating system and software platform created by Google.

  • The Android platform is supported by the Open Handset Alliance and is open source. Any manufacturer can use Android on their phones and software written for the platform will run on Android-based devices regardless of manufacturer.

  • Android competes with Windows Mobile, S60, and other smartphone platforms.

  • The physical device used for sending/receiving radio waves. Older phones used external antennas while most current phones use an internal antenna. The size and shape of the antenna is designed according to the type of radio waves being used.

    APN  [Access Point Name]
  • APN is the name (web address) of an access point for GPRS/EDGE/UMTS data connection. Usually wireless carriers provide the APN to their end users.

    Audio Jack  
  • A common connector for plugging in a standard pair of music headphones such as the ones found on music players, computers and most other electronic devices with audio outputs.

  • It can support stereo and/or microphone, depending on the number of separate connector rings on the jack.

  • Some phones offer only a 2.5 mm jack, which is a smaller variety of the same principle.

  • Headphones supplied with mobile phones usually have a mic somewhere along the cable and a remote button that allows for managing calls without using the phone.

  • Some manufacturers opt for placing a 3.5mm audio jack on this remote control instead of directly on the phone itself. The reason for this is that 3.5mm jacks take up quite a lot of internal space; plus, in this way the user gets to keep the remote control/mic functionality while using third-party headphones.

  • Auto-focus is a feature of digital cameras that allows them to focus correctly on a subject. It enhances the quality of the photo over fixed-focus cameras and allows for close-ups (or the even closer macro shots).

  • Phones use passive auto-focus with contrast measurement. This means that the camera needs contrast to focus and have problems focusing on a blank wall or in low light conditions.

  • Some phones can use their camera LEDs as a focus assist light to help deal with the latter case.

    AVRCP  [Audio/Video Remote Control Profile]
  • AVRC is a Bluetooth profile that allows remote control of media playback on other devices. Supported functions are play, pause, stop, next, and previous.

  • It is usually coupled with A2DP so that, for example, wireless headphones use A2DP to stream the music and AVRC to control playback.

  • A specific range of frequencies (for example those between 1850 MHz and 1995 MHz) are called a band.

  • Bandwidth is used to measure the data throughput of a channel or connection. It's the amount of data that can be sent over a connection in a given amount of time without distortion. It should not be confused with band.

  • The bar form factor is the most common and simple form factor for a mobile phone. The body of a bar phone is one, single block and has no moving parts (aside from the buttons). "Locking" the keyboard is done to prevent accidental key presses when the phone is carried in a pocket, purse, etc.

    Base Station  
  • A fixed station that uses radio waves to communicate with mobile devices. It serves as the link between the user's device and the carrier's network.

  • Base stations range in size and area of coverage. Some may cover a radius of several kilometers while others cover only a few city blocks. Most stations transmit in all directions but there are also directional antennas aimed at a specific direction.

  • Usually base stations are owned by a single carrier but may offer roaming coverage for other networks.

  • A binary digit. The values of a bit are either "0" or "1". Eight bits form a byte.

  • Bluetooth is a wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks.

  • There are two important parameters of Bluetooth devices - class and supported profiles.

  • -"Class" signifies the distance at which a Bluetooth connection is possible. Most mobile devices are Class 2, which means they have a range of up to 10 m. Class 1 devices are rare and have a range of up to 100 feet.

  • -A "profile" is a type of Bluetooth connection. The most common are the Headset (HSP) and Handsfree (HFP) profiles that enable the device to connect to a wireless headset or handsfree.

  • Some other profiles are OBEX (OBject EXchange) which allows transfer of files, contacts and events; A2DP, which adds support for streaming of stereo sound and AVRC, which allows remote control of playback.

    bps  Bits per Second
  • A measure of data transmission speeds, the amount of bits transferred in a single second. Typically, speeds are measured in kbps (1000 bits per second).

  • Note: kBps (with a capital B) denotes bytes per second.

  • In data communications, a "broadband connection" is a connection with a high speed of data transfer (greater than 56 kbps). Generally, it is fast enough to support streaming video.

  • A piece of software that allows the user to access Internet sites.

  • Most current handsets are equipped with browsers capable of viewing common websites (those intended for a desktop browser).

  • Web browsers on budget cellphones may be capable of viewing only websites specially made for mobile devices. The most advanced devices currently have web browsers with full Flash support that allows them to play even embedded Flash video (such as the videos from YouTube).

  • A string of 8 bits.

  • Typically, one byte equals one character of text but in some cases (especially with non-Latin alphabets), two or more bytes are used.

  • Because of this, an SMS written in Cyrillic or Chinese alphabets has shorter maximum length than one written in the Latin alphabet.

  • The basic functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) are included in all calculators but some offer more advanced options such as square root or trigonomic functions.

  • Some calculators have the option to convert currency and can calculate mortgage payments.

  • Calendars (also known as PIM - Personal Information Manager) allow you to store information about events such as meetings or reminders (e.g. to remind you of someone's birthday). Usually an alarm can be set to sound an alert.

  • Some devices offer the ability to synchronize the calendar with the one on your computer or your online clendar/task manager.

    Call Alerts  
  • The mobile phone can alert you of events such as an incoming call or an incoming message in a number of ways. The two most popular ones are vibration and ringing.

  • While vibration is pretty much self-explanatory, the ringing alerts can be of several types depending on the mobile phone.

  • In the past mobile phones used to allow only monophonic tones to be set as ringing alerts. With the advancement of technology, polyphonic ringtones also became supported.

  • Later on as mobile phones further evolved, they started using MP3 tones for various alert purposes. As more (presumably superior) audio formats became available (such as AAC), they were also added to the mobile phones' alert system.

  • Recently, mobile phones have even started to use short video clips as call alerts (not to be confused with video calls).

  • No matter what kind of ringing tones the mobile phone uses, users have always enjoyed customizing their ringtones by expanding the preset ones supplied by the manufacturer.

    Calling Plan  
  • Services offered by the wireless service provider as a package. These usually include activation, monthly charges, per-minute voice call charges, roaming terms, voicemail, data, and international roaming.

  • Some phones feature a camera that gives them the ability to work as a digital camera. Often (though not always) the camera is also able to shoot video.

  • The most important characteristics of a camera are the resolution (measured in megapixels), lens focus type (either fixed or automatic) and the presence of a flash. The flash could be either LED (single or even double) or xenon.

  • The number of megapixels is not always a good measurement of the quality of the photos, but if you plan to print pictures, you would generally get higher quality ones out of higher megapixel cameras.

  • Auto focus lens are not a guarantee of better image quality, but fixed focus cameras are usually inferior. Most importantly, only auto focus cameras can allow shooting of really close objects - i.e. macro shooting.

  • Some phones offer optical zoom but those are rare. Most use digital zoom, which degrades the quality of the photo.

  • Cameras that can work in "video mode" are characterized by the maximum resolution and framerate (frames per second or fps) of the recorded video.

    Capacitive Touchscreen  
  • Capacitive touch sensors are used either as buttons or on touchscreens. They work by sensing the electrical properties of the human body instead of pressure and generally they don't work with a stylus so they don't allow handwriting recognition. However, capacitive touchscreens feel more sensitive than their resistive counterparts.

  • Capacitive touch screens are also considered more durable than resistive touch screens.

    Car Kit  
  • In some countries, it is prohibited to use a mobile phone while driving so special accessories are sold which let you make a call without holding the phone in your hand.

  • Such accessories are sold as kits that may include a holder for the phone, a battery charger, connections to an external speaker and microphone for better audio quality, an external antenna for better reception and a junction box with data port for optional fax/modem connections.

  • Carriers (sometimes service providers, operators) are the companies that sell the use of a wireless network. Usually they own the network though some (called MVNO) do not.

  • The network consists of base stations (cell towers) and the infrastructure linking them.

  • The service allows the user to access the network and they are billed by the minute (for calls) or by kilobytes (for data transfers). Such services are sold as packages known as "calling plans".

    CDMA  [Code Division Multiple Access]
  • A type of digital wireless technology that allows large amounts of voice and data to be transmitted on the same frequency.

  • CDMA is second-generation cellular technology (or 2G) and is currently available in Canada, the United States, Pacific Asia, and Latin America.

  • Most CDMA service providers (Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility for example) will migrate to a high-speed data technology called 1xRTT.

  • Defines the third-generation (3G) version of CDMA technology. Also known as IMT-CDMA Multi-Carrier or IS-136, cdma2000 supports high-speed data transmission (144 Kbps to 2 Mbps), always-on data service, and improved voice network capacity (more people can use each tower at the same time). cdma2000 is a competitor to WCDMA and will be deployed in at least three phases - 1xRTT, 1xEV-DO, 1xEV-DV, and cdma2000 3x.

  • - 1xEV-DO the second phase of CDMA2000 following 1xRTT deployment. 1xEV-DO stands for 1x Evolution Data Only. "EV-DO" puts voice and data on separate channels in order to provide high-speed, high-capacity wireless Internet connectivity (peak data rate of 2.4 Mbps).

  • - 1x EV-DV the third phase of cdma2000 following 1xEV-DO deployment. 1xEV-DV stands for 1x Evolution Data Voice, and is characterized by a maximum data rate of 5.2 Mbps and the ability to support wireless Voice over IP (VoIP) services.

  • Wireless networks are comprised of many overlapping cells (the area covered by a base station).

  • "Cell" can also refer to one or more connected base stations.

  • Mobile phones run on so-called embedded chipsets, which are designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions, often with real-time computing constraints. They are embedded as part of the complete device including hardware and mechanical parts.

  • The ever popular smartphones are equipped with more advanced embedded chipsets that can do many different tasks depending on their programming.

  • Thus their CPU (Central Processing Unit) performance is vital for the daily user experience and people tend to use the clock rate of the main CPU that's in the heart of the chipset to compare the performance of competing end products.

  • As we already pointed out, the clock rate of a processor is only useful for providing performance comparisons between computer chips in the same processor family and generation.

  • Also, as mobile gaming is increasingly gaining popularity, users have become more aware of the various types of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) chips that come as part of the mobile chipsets and sometimes even consider their performance when making buying decisions.

    cHTML  Compact HyperText Markup Language
  • cHTML is a simplified version of HTML with features such as the accesskey attribute for numpad-optimized web navigation, phone number shortcuts for links, and emoji pictorial characters.

  • cHTML is used exclusively for iMode, a service that is offered only in Japan and several European countries.

  • Most phones use the older WML format or the newer XHTML Mobile Profile.

    CIF  Common Intermediate Format
  • A standard resolution - 352 x 288 pixels - used by some digital cameras for either images or video.

  • Variations include QCIF (Quarter CIF) - 176 x 144 pixels - and SQCIF (Sub Quarter CIF) - 128 x 96.

  • The phone consists of two halves connected with a hinge in the middle. The hinge allows the phone to be folded close (much like a sea clamshell, hence the name). When the phone is closed, the keyboard is protected from accidental key presses.

  • The top half usually hosts a small external display and a large internal main display, while the bottom half incorporates the keyboard.

  • The camera (if present) can be on either half.

    CMOS  Complementary Metal-OxideSemiconductor
  • CMOS is one of two major types of image sensor technologies used in

  • digital cameras (the other being CCD). The image sensor of a digital camera serves as a digital substitute for film in ordinary cameras.

  • The camera sensor captures light, converts it to electric charge and processes it into electronic signals.

  • Generally, CMOS sensors are smaller, cheaper and more energy efficient and currently deliver the same image quality as CCD sensors.

    Concatenated SMS  
  • Typically, an SMS is 160 characters in length (using Latin characters) but a concatenated SMS has a longer maximum length. The message is composed as a single message and the phone splits it into several shorter messages that are reassembled by the receiving phone.

  • Maximum length varies between 300 and 1,000 characters depending on the device.

    CPU  Central Processing Unit
  • CPU (Central Processing Unit) - otherwise known as a processor - is an electronic circuit that can execute computer programs. Both the miniaturization and standardization of CPUs have increased their presence far beyond the limited application of dedicated computing machines. Modern microprocessors appear in everything from automobiles to mobile phones.

  • The clock rate is one of the main characteristics of the CPU when performance is concerned. Clock rate is the fundamental rate in cycles per second (measured in hertz, kilohertz, megahertz or gigahertz) for the frequency of the clock in any synchronous circuit.

  • A single clock cycle (typically shorter than a nanosecond in modern non-embedded microprocessors) toggles between a logical zero and a logical one state.

  • With any particular CPU, replacing the crystal with another crystal that oscillates with twice the frequency will generally make the CPU run with twice the performance. It will also make the CPU produce roughly twice the amount of waste heat.

  • Engineers are working hard to push the boundaries of the current architectures and are constantly searching for new ways to design CPUs that tick a little quicker or use slightly less energy per clock. This produces new cooler CPUs that can run at higher clock rates.

  • Scientists also continue to search for new designs that allow CPUs to run at the same or at a lower clock rate as older CPUs, but which get more instructions completed per clock cycle.

  • The clock rate of a processor is only useful for providing comparisons between computer chips in the same processor family and generation.

  • Clock rates can be very misleading since the amount of work different computer chips can do in one cycle varies. Clock rates should not be used when comparing different computers or different processor families. Rather, some kind of software benchmarks should be used.

  • Smartphones are equipped with more advanced embedded chipsets that can do many different tasks depending on their programming.

  • The performance of the CPU that's at the core of the chipset is vital for the daily user experience and the general computing performance of the smartphone. People tend to use the clock rern digital wireless phone systems but not entirely eliminated.

  • Stereo crosstalk for example is one of the parameters of audio quality we test whehones. The crosstalk measurement is made to determine the amount of signal leaking across from one channel to another or - in purely non-technical terms - it measures how good the stereo i STN is a type of LCD STN display has worse image quality and response times than a TFT LCD, but is cheaper and more energy efficient.

    CSD  [Circuit Switch Data]
  • Allows a user to use their wireless handset as a modem for laptops, PDAs and other electronic devices via infrared ports or designated data cables.

  • CSD also allows a user to access Wireless Internet via their wireless handset (handset must be WAP compatible).

  • CTIA is the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunication Industry, an international organization dedicated to expanding the wireless frontier.

  • It's basically an international industry trade group representing all wireless communication sectors.

    Custom Ringtones  
  • Phones come preloaded with a selection of ringtones, yet some phones also allow the user to load a new ringtone. This could be done by writing the notes in a built-in composer, or by downloading the ringtone via a special SMS/MMS or from the internet.

  • An easy way to transfer custom ringtones to your mobile phone is via a USB data cable, Bluetooth or a memory card reader.

  • When you want to use custom ringtones, you should check the phone supported file formats beforehand.

    D-Pad  Direction Pad
  • A circular- or square-shaped pad that provides navigation keys for the four directions: up, down, left and right. These are the equivalent of the "arrow keys" on a computer keyboard and are used for navigating the user interface.

  • An enhanced version of the D-pad called an 8-way D-pad allows for scrolling diagonally as well.

  • Some D-Pads have a center button usually called "select" or "OK". It is used to select a highlighted item in the user interface.

    DCS  [Digital Cellular System]
  • A GSM network operating at 1800MHZ. Used by Orange and One 2 One in the UK.

    Digital Zoom  
  • Zoom is a feature common among cameras and is used to make the subject appear closer. Cameras on mobile phones often have a zoom feature as well but most often it is digital zoom.

  • Digital zoom is implemented in one of two ways:

  • Cropping - the software crops the image so that the subject would appear bigger on the screen of the phone but the resulting image is smaller than the maximum resolution of the camera. The photo of the subject does not have any more detail than a non-cropped photo would.

  • Stretching - this is similar to cropping but instead it stretches the cropped photo to the selected resolution. Since the stretching is done by an algorithm that uses just the information from the cropped photo no additional detail is visible.

    Display Type  
  • There are lot of display types used in mobile phones. They can be either color or monochrome. Monochrome displays on the other hand can be alphanumeric or graphic. Alphanumeric displays can show only symbols with a constant size, while graphic displays can show fonts of different sizes and animations.

  • The color displays usually are CSTN, TFT, TFD or OLED with a predominant use of TFT displays in current mobile lineups. There are also two types of touchscreen displays - capacitive and resistive, which are both based on TFT technology.

  • CAPACITIVE touchscreens work by sensing the electrical properties of the human body, while RESISTIVE ones operate by sensing direct pressure applied by the user.

  • The RESISTIVE type can be activated by pressing not only with human skin but also with a stylus and thus allow handwriting recognition input.

    DLNA  Digital Living Network Alliance
  • DLNA refers to both an organization and the technology they created.

  • The DLNA standard is used for sharing music, photos and video over an existing home network.

  • For example, by using DLNA you could stream video from your phone to a compatible TV-set using a Wi-Fi network.

    DNSe  Digital Natural Sound engine
  • DNSe or the Digital Natural Sound engine is a DSP audio enhancement technology developed by Samsung in 2003 and further on implemented throughout many of their product lineups - from TVs and DVD players to portable music players and lately - mobile phones.

  • As Samsung puts it, the aim of DNSe is to restore the best sonic experience to the end user. Purportedly, the sound engine yields higher quality sound with more natural effects than conventional methods by reproducing the 'genuine' stereo sound intended by the music content creators. It achieves this by actively working on overcoming the limitations of earphones and less-than-ideal speakers to offer realistic stereo and deep bass sounds.

  • In addition, Samsung have created ideal listening presets that further compensate for the native restrictions of portable multimedia players. The system uses several basic processing methods aiming at various imperfections of the sound produced by portable players.

  • Concert Hall recreates life-like reflected and reverberated sounds to simulate the experience of a live performance in a concert hall. 3D speaker separates and combines sound to create realistic sense of both space and distance through small-sized speakers. Clarity enhancement tries to electronically restore the distorted harmonics of the digitally compressed music. Bass Extension applies an electronic harmony logic to correctly play hi-fidelity sounds at an ultra-low frequency through earphones or small-sized speakers. And finally, Street mode selectively adjusts volume so that the tiny notes are audible even in the loud street environment without the uncomfortable boosting of the general volume level.

  • The DNSe sound enhancement system combines those sound enhancements with different equalizer settings to create various user-centric presets to suit the most common listening scenarios. If that is not enough, the system alows creating custom presets as well.

  • Samsung DNSe is not to be confused with the Samsung proprietary DNIe (Digital Natural Image engine) technology. DNIe is used in Samsung plasma and high definition television sets (HDTV). Purportedly, DNIe offers better detail than conventional televisions by using four proprietary processes that optimize and enhance image quality: a Motion Optimizer, a Contrast Enhancer, a Detail Enhancer, and a Color Optimizer.

  • The one-way connection from a server (such as the cellular network) to the user device (such as a mobile phone).

  • Mobile phones typically utilize a two-way connection consisting of downlink and uplink (the connection from the user device to the server) which is asymmetrical - that is, the downlink is much faster than the uplink.

    DRM  Digital Rights Management
  • Manages the use of copyright-protected data such as music, graphics, videos etc.

  • For example, DRM can prohibit you sending a downloaded media file to other media such as CD, DVD, or even PC.

  • Mobile phone networks work using signals on specific frequency bands and a phone must support those bands in order to work with the network. Dual-band refers to the phones ability to work with two different bands. It is important to specify which bands exactly.

  • Networks in different geographical locations work on different bands - GSM networks in the Americas use the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands while networks in Europe, Brazil, Asia and Africa use the 900/1800 MHz bands.

  • For example an 900/1800 dual-band phone won't work in the US and an 850/1900 phone won't work in Europe. A 900/1900 phone should work on at least one network in most countries around the world.

  • A wireless phone which is able to operate on both analog and digital networks to send and receive calls.

    DVB-H  Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld
  • A European standard specifically for the broadcasting of television content to hand-held devices based on DVB-T.

  • As of 2007, live trial runs of DVB-H have started in many European countries, as well as other countries around the world.

    Dynamic Memory  
  • A way or organizing different types of data in the phone's memory.

  • Also referred to as Shared memory.

  • Dynamic memory means that all types of data are stored in the same memory (there is no separate memory for photos, ringtones etc.).

  • An advantage of dynamic memory over partitioned memory is that it is more flexible - with partitioned memory, you can fill up the photo memory for example and you won't be able to take any more photos even if other types of memory are free.

    EDGE  [Enhanced Data for Global Evolution]
  • EDGE (also known as Enhanced GPRS or EGPRS) is a data system used on top of GSM networks. It provides nearly three times faster speeds than the outdated GPRS system. The theoretical maximum speed is 473 kbps for 8 timeslots but it is typically limited to 135 kbps in order to conserve spectrum resources. Both phone and network must support EDGE, otherwise the phone will revert automatically to GPRS.

  • EDGE meets the requirements for a 3G network but is usually classified as 2.75G.

    EDR  Enhanced Data Rate
  • An optional part of the Bluetooth specification that provides a faster data rate (speed) and possibly improved battery life. Not all Bluetooth devices support EDR and will depend on the Bluetooth version and supported profiles. Both devices need to support EDR, in which case EDR is used automatically.

  • A synonym for EDGE.

    EGSM  [Extended GSM]
  • EGSM extends the frequency bands of GSM 900 giving it added network capacity.

  • Most new phones listed as GSM 900 also support EGSM.

    Email Client  
  • Some phones provide a full email client that can connect to a public or private email server via a wireless data connection(cellular or Wi-Fi).

  • There are different protocols used by the servers and some may not be supported by the phone's email client.

    EMS  [Enhanced Message Service]
  • EMS or the Enhanced Messaging Service is an extension of SMS, which allowed mobile phone to send and receive messages that have special text formatting (such as bold or italic), animations, graphics, sound effects and ringtones.

  • EMS is an intermediate technology between SMS and the rich multimedia messages otherwise known as MMS.

  • A 3G technology add-on for CDMA networks that allows for theoretical download speeds as fast as 2.4 Mbps, though actual rates tend to be far slower.

  • There are two major versions: Release 0 and Revision A.

  • Release 0, the original release, is widely deployed. It offers data rates of 2.4 Mbps, with real-life speeds averaging 300-600 Kbps.

  • Revision A introduces enhancements that allow features such as VoIP and video calling. Although EV-DO does not support voice calls natively a future upgrade may enable VoIP.

  • EV-DV is part of the same family of CDMA connectivity as EV-DO.

  • Unlike EV-DO, however, EV-DV also supports voice calls. EV-DV is essentially a combination of EV-DO and 1xRTT.

  • Development of the technology stalled before launch and was superseded by EV-DO plus VoIP.

    Exchangeable Covers  
  • Some phones have been designed to let the user remove the covers (front and back) and replace them with others, changing the color, pattern or even the styling of the phone.

  • Some examples include Nokia Xpress-On covers and Sony Ericsson Style-Up covers.

    External Antenna Jack  
  • A connector that allows an external antenna to be connected to the phone to improve reception indoors or in a car. The jack is usually hidden in some way, most commonly with a rubber plug.

  • Note: not all antenna jacks are the same

    External Display  
  • Since the display of clamshells is hidden when the phone is closed, many phones include a secondary display on the outside.

  • This display is of lower quality than the main display (lower resolution, may be monochrome, etc.). It is used to display various notifications such as the time, Caller-ID, missed calls.

  • In many camera phones, the external display can act as a viewfinder to help frame self-portrait photos.

    FCC  Federal Communications Commission
  • Known also as the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission is a US government agency controlled by Congress. The FCC monitors and regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, satellite and cable.

  • The FCC also certifies all mobile phones intended for use in the US, insuring compliance with spectrum allocations, technical standards, and safe radiation levels.

    Feature Phone  
  • A mobile phone that is not smartphone. It has operating system firmware, but third party software support is limited to only Java or BREW applications.

  • Recently feature phones have begun to offer similar features to those of smartphones, so the main difference between the two groups now is the third-party software support.

  • A small cellular base station, typically designed for use in residential or small business environments. The benefits of these portable base stations are similar to the ones of using, for example, regular Wi-Fi access points. They allow the expansion of the corporate telephony and intranet network so it can be used by regular mobile phones.

  • Femtocells are the size of a regular broadband cable router. The small size offers a small area of coverage Ė in most cases a large-spaced room or two or three separate small rooms.

  • The femtocell can be easily installed by end users, while cellular towers are only installed by the carrier.

  • Fixed software programs that internally control various electronic devices or individual hardware parts of these devices (such as mobile phones). They involved very basic low-level operations of the device, without which the device would be completely non-functional.

  • More simple firmwares are usually stored on ROM or OTP/PROM, while more complex firmwares occupy flash memory to allow for updates.

  • Common reasons for updating firmware include fixing bugs or adding features to the device.

  • Doing so usually involves loading a binary image file provided by the manufacturer into the device, according to a specific procedure. More often than not this is meant to be done by the end user.

  • The camera focus is set to a specific distance by the manufacturer and canít be adjusted.

  • Fixed focus digital cameras limit the photo quality and the minimum shooting distance (no close-ups are possible). The fixed focus technology uses a very small lens with a tiny aperture, thus making all visible subjects in focus no matter their distance from the camera.

  • Basic mobile phones cameras are usually of the fixed-focus type.

    Flash Memory  
  • Flash memory is non-volatile computer memory that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. Non-volatile means that no power is needed to maintain the information stored on the chip.

  • It is a technology that is primarily used in memory cards and USB flash drives as solid state storage and its main purpose is an inexpensive way of storing or transferring data between computers and other digital products. Itís used as primary storage memory on various portable devices due to its low cost, compact size, great physical endurance and low power consumption.

  • The most popular types of flash memory are NAND and NOR.

    Flight Mode  
  • Known also as Airplane mode, this mode disables all radio parts of a mobile phone but leaves other functions available. These include music player, organizer and everything that doesn't require the radio transmitters.

  • This mode is required because most airlines forbid the use of wireless devices during flight. Some airlines do not allow the use of such devices even in Airplane mode.

  • There is an industry standard icon to signify that airplane mode is on but not all phones use it.

  • This mode is required for several reasons. Preventing interference with the airplane equipment is the best known one but another reason is that cell towers cannot handle phones moving at high altitudes and speeds.

    Flip-Down Phone  
  • It\ís a mobile phone form factor that\ís a cross-over between the Bar and Clamshell form factors.

  • In this case the device is mainly a bar, but a thin \"flip\" part covers the keypad and/or display when not in use.

    FM Radio  
  • The built-in FM radio tuner is now considered a basic feature. It allows the user to listen to most of the live-broadcasted FM radio stations. Almost all phones with FM radio tuner require a wired headset to be connected to the unit as itís used as an antenna.

  • Most FM radio tuners can receive basic radio station info over RDS.

  • The use of FM radio does not interfere with the network carrier and itís free.

  • Nokia enhance their FM radio interfaces with the Visual Radio enhancement that adds visuals and text as an additional info layer to normal radio broadcasts.

  • A presentation of graphics and text, synchronized to the audio programming, gets downloaded to the phone over a data connection; the FM transmission chain is unaffected by the addition of Visual Radio.

  • Here's the type of content that Visual Radio can offer:

  • - Information on the song and artist currently playing on air

  • - View images related to presenters or news stories

  • - A weather map during the weather broadcast

  • - News, weather and traffic alerts while songs are playing

  • - Listen in to a talk show and see what has been discussed so far

  • - Join in audience votes, Big Brother style

  • - Participate in on-air competitions

  • You can only use the Visual Radio enhancement via a cellular data connection, as using it over Wi-Fi is not an option.

    FM Transmitter  
  • An FM transmitter allows a phone to broadcast music stored in its memory on FM frequencies, so that it can be tuned into a nearby FM receiver such as a a car radio.

  • FM transmitters are not a common feature on mobile phones, but such modern models do exist. The mobiles transmit at low power so interference with regular FM radio stations is highly likely Ė especially in dense urban environments where most of the FM spectrum is already populated by live radio broadcasts.

  • Some embedded FM transmitters allow for transmitting the music details over RDS.

    Form Factor  
  • The general look, or size and shape, of a mobile device.

  • All mobile phones are similar at the physical style level. Most devices fall into one of the following categories: Bar, Clamshell, Flip down, Slide or Swivel. Mobile manufacturers come up with new designs, but the base they use is normally one of these form factors.

    FOTA  Firmware Over-The-Air
  • This is a special feature supported by some phones, where users can update their handset firmware over the carrier network. It removes the need of special cables, computers or third-party programs.

    FPS  Frames Per Second
  • This measurement is the video resolution measured in time. 24-30 fps is the normal level for good picture quality. A video with lower framerates appear as ďchoppyĒ on screen and fail to capture fast moving objects properly.

    Frame Error Rate  
  • Ratio of data received with errors to total data received. Used to determine the quality of a signal connection. If the FER is too high (too many errors), the connection may be dropped.

  • Measured in hertz (cycles per second), rate of repetition of changes / waves.

  • The term frequency is also used for range (band) on the radio frequency spectrum, such as 800 MHz, 900 MHz or 1900 MHz.

    FTP  File Transfer Protocol
  • A standard for transferring files over the Internet. Not commonly used on phones, although there is FTP software available for most smartphone platforms.

    GB  Gigabyte
  • 1GB is equal to approximately 1 billion bytes or exactly 1024 MB.

    Gbps  Gigabits per second
  • 1 Gbps = 1024 Mbps. Gbps measures data transmission over a carrier.

  • Geo-tagging is a function, where GPS-enabled devices can insert metadata with geographical information (coordinates) into a file such as photo, associating it with the geographic location it was taken at.

  • Some new cameraphones support automatic geo-tagging of any pictures taken.

  • Geo-tags can be read by any device or desktop computer software which reads geo-tagging metadata, such as image editors and online image galleries.

    GHz  [Gigahertz]
  • A unit of frequency equal to one billion cycles per second (Hertz).

  • Wireless mobile phone communications in the United States occur in the 0.8 GHz and 1.9 GHz bands (better known as 800 and 1900 MHz, respectively).

  • 1 GHz = 1,000 MHz = 1,000,000 KHz

  • General Packet Radio Service is a packet-switching technology that enables data transfers through cellular networks. It is used for mobile internet, MMS and other data communications. In theory the speed limit of GPRS is 115 kbps, but in most networks it is around 35 kbps. Informally, GPRS is also called 2.5G.

    GPS  Global Positioning System
  • Global Positioning System was developed by the United States' Department of Defense. It uses between 24 and 32 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals. This enables GPS receivers to determine their current location, time and velocity. The GPS satellites are maintained by the United States Air Force.

  • GPS is often used by civilians as a navigation system. On the ground, any GPS receiver contains a computer that "triangulates" its own position by getting bearings from at least three satellites. The result is provided in the form of a geographic position - longitude and latitude - to, for most receivers, within an accuracy of 10 to 100 meters. Software applications can then use those coordinates to provide driving or walking instructions.

  • Getting a lock on by the GPS receivers on the ground usually takes some time especially where the receiver is in a moving vehicle or in dense urban areas. The initial time needed for a GPS lock is usually dependent on how the GPS receiver starts. There are three types of start - hot, warm and cold.

  • The hot start is when the GPS device remembers its last calculated position and the satellites in view, the almanac used (information about all the satellites in the constellation), the UTC Time and makes an attempt to lock onto the same satellites and calculate a new position based upon the previous information. This is the quickest GPS lock but it only works if you are generally in the same location as you were when the GPS was last turned off.

  • The warm start is when the GPS device remembers its last calculated position, almanac used, and UTC Time, but not which satellites were in view. It then performs a reset and attempts to obtain the satellite signals and calculates a new position.

  • The receiver has a general idea of which satellites to look for because it knows its last position and the almanac data helps identify which satellites are visible in the sky. This takes longer than a hot start but not as long as a cold start.

  • And finally Ė the cold start is when the GPS device dumps all the information, attempts to locate satellites and then calculates a GPS lock. This takes the longest because there is no known information.

  • The GPS receiver has to attempt to lock onto a satellite signal from any available satellites, basically like polling, which takes a lot longer than knowing which satellites to look for. This GPS lock takes the longest.

  • In an attempt to improve lock times, cellphone manufacturers and operators have introduced the Assisted GPS technology, which downloads the current ephemeris for a few days ahead via the wireless networks and helps triangulate the general userís position with the cell towers thus allowing the GPS receiver to get a faster lock at the expense of several (kilo)bytes.

  • gpsOne is the brand name for a mobile GPS chipset manufactured by Qualcomm that allows mobile phones to lock a userís position faster by using a technology referred to as A-GPS or Assisted-GPS.

    gpsOneXTRA Assistance Technology  
  • Qualcomm's new gpsOneXTRA Assistance technology provides enhanced operation by enabling a user to download a small assistance data file through a brief Internet access session.

  • Network operators who have not yet deployed A-GPS systems can provide their subscribers with enhanced GPS performance on mobile handsets by using Qualcomm's gpsOneXTRA Assistance technology.

    GPU  Graphics Processing Unit
  • The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is a specialized circuit designed to accelerate the image output in a frame buffer intended for output to a display.

  • GPUs are very efficient at manipulating computer graphics and are generally more effective than general-purpose CPUs for algorithms where processing of large blocks of data is done in parallel.

  • Modern smartphones are equipped with advanced embedded chipsets that can do many different tasks depending on their programming. GPUs are an essential part of those chipsets and as mobile games are pushing the boundaries of their capabilities, the GPU performance is becoming increasingly important.

    GSM  [Global System for Mobile Communication]
  • GSM is currently the dominant 2G digital mobile phone standard for most of the world.

  • It determines the way in which mobile phones communicate with the land-based network of towers.

  • The most visible feature of GSM are SIM cards.

  • SIM cards are removable, thumbnail-sized smart cards which identify the user on the network, and can also store information such as phone book entries.

  • SIM cards allows users to switch phones by simply moving their SIM card from one phone to the other.

    GSM 900  
  • GSM networks operating at 900 MHZ.

    GSM 1800  
  • GSM networks operating at 1.8 GHz.

    GSM 1900  
  • GSM networks operating at 1.9 GHz (primarily in North America).

    HSCSD  [High-Speed Circuit Switched Data]
  • A high-speed data technology for GSM networks. An alternative to GPRS. Adopted mostly in Europe. No GSM networks in North America support HSCSD.

  • HSCSD is a high-speed version of CSD, the standard method of data connections before packet-based technologies such as GPRS.

  • A CSD connection is considered a data "call". A CSD data call is very similar to a voice call, except with the voice codecs disabled. A CSD call therefore occupies the came bandwidth as a voice call.

  • Unlike packet-based technologies, a CSD or HSCSD data call uses the same amount of bandwidth at all times, regardless of whether data is being transmitted at any given moment.

  • HSCSD achieves higher speeds than CSD by aggregating several simultaneous CSD data connections.

    iDEN  [Integrated Digital Enhanced Network]
  • A wireless technology by Motorola which combines two-way radio, telephone, text messaging and data. Used by Telus Mobility's Mike service and Nextel.

  • Operates in the 800MHz and 1,500MHz bands using TDMA networks.

    ITU  [International Telecommunication Union]
  • An organization in Geneva, Switzerland established to promote standardized telecommunications on a worldwide basis.

    J2ME  [Java 2 Micro Edition]
  • Is a technology that allows programmers to use the Java programming language and related tools to develop programs for wireless and mobile devices such as cellular phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

  • The J2ME platform can be used to implement a wide variety of applications, from wireless games to data portals into the Internet or corporate enterprise databases.

    LCD  [Liquid crystal display]
  • A type of display used on most cell phones, capable of displaying monochrome characters and some pictures.

  • The LCD has low energy requirements and uses dark segments against a lighter background for easy viewing in all lighting conditions.

  • Color LCD displays use two basic techniques for producing color

  • Passive matrix is the less expensive of the two technologies.

  • The other technology, called thin film transistor (TFT) or active-matrix, produces color images that are as sharp as traditional CRT displays, but the technology is expensive.

    Lithium Ion  [LiIon]
  • A type of rechargeable battery for cell phones which is generally lighter weight than earlier battery types, has a relatively longer cycle life, and generally does not suffer from "memory" effect.

    Lithium Polymer  
  • A battery technology similar to lithium ion but allows the battery to be molded to any shape allowing greater flexibility for mobile phone designers.

    MHz  [Megahertz]
  • A unit of frequency equal to one million cycles per second (Hertz).

  • Wireless phone communications in Canada and the United States occur in the 800 MHZ and 1900 MHZ bands.

  • Motorola Internet Browser

    MMS  [Multimedia Messaging Service]
  • A further extension of SMS and EMS. MMS is designed to make use of newer and quicker mobile transmission methods such as GPRS, HSCSD, EDGE and UMTS, involving the attachment of multimedia extensions to messages, such as video and sound.

  • An e-mail function is also planned.

    MP3 Playback  
  • Some cell phones feature a MP3 player (built-in or add-on accessory) that allow you to listen to music stored in the MP3 digital format. These files are much smaller than other formats such as wave files, yet can deliver CD quality sound.

  • Generally, music can be downloaded into the phone from a computer and played back later through a headset attached to the phone.

  • Newer phones with High-Speed Data may support downloading music directly over the Wireless Internet.

    NAMPS  [Narrowband Advanced Mobile Phone Service]
  • Is the next generation of AMPS systems.

  • NAMPS is a cellular call-handling system that uses digital signaling techniques to split the existing channels into three narrowband channels.

  • The result is three times more voice channel capacity than the traditional AMPS system provides.

    OTA  [Over The Air]
  • The downloading of ring tones, picture messages, and other content to your mobile phone wirelessly.

    Passive Matrix Display  
  • An LCD technology that uses a grid to supply the charge to each particular pixel on the display.

  • An STN screen has a slower refresh rate than a TFT screen, but it's cheaper.

  • Also called a SuperTwist Nematic of STN display.

    PC Sync  
  • Allows a user to connect a cell phone to a computer with a cable and transfer data.

  • An example of this would be synchronizing a cell phone's contact and calendar information with a computer application like Outlook.

  • Also known as DCS 1800 or GSM 1800, PCN is a term used to describe a wireless communication technology in Europe and Asia.

    PCS  [Personal Communications Services]
  • A term used to describe two-way, 1900MHz digital wireless technology.

  • PCS, a second-generation technology, arrived in 1990 and is the most widely deployed wireless service in North America today.

  • It is based on circuit-switched technology where each call requires its own cell channel, which makes transmission of data quite slow.

  • 2G PCS services include Code Division Multiple Access(CDMA), Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), and GSM.

    PDA  [Personal Digital Assistant]
  • A portable, handheld computing device that acts as an electronic organizer.

  • PDAs are typically used for managing addresses, appointments, to-do lists and notes, but some newer models support wireless Internet access, e-mail, and other interactive applications.

  • Also referred to as Handheld Computers. PDAs come in two major flavors - Palm and Pocket PC.

    PDC  [Personal Digital Communications]
  • The digital cell phone system in Japan.

    Picture Messaging  
  • A technology that allows you to send and receive picture messages as well as text on a mobile phone.

    PIM  [Personal Information Manager]
  • A type of software application that allows the user to input and organize various types of information.

  • Common features of a PIM application include a notepad, calculator, to-do list, calendar and scheduling tool.

    Polyphonic Ring Tones  
  • Are ring tones very much like regular ring tones except that they are capable of playing multiple notes at a time.

  • This results in vastly improved sound quality with richer, more realistic sounds.

  • Phones equipped with polyphonic ring tones generally have better sounding speakers.

    Predictive Text  
  • Input software built into some cell phones and mobile devices that makes typing words on a keypad easier.

  • Instead of pressing each key one, two or three times, just to press it once and a built-in vocabulary will attempt to guess the word that you are spelling.

  • Using this system, SMS messages and sometimes e-mails are quicker and easier to write. Often referred to as T9, the most popular type of predictive text entry.

  • The competitor to T9 is iTAP by Motorola.

    PTT  [Push-To-Talk]
  • A two-way communication service that works like a "walkie talkie".

  • This feature, found on Motorola iDEN phones from Nextel and Telus Mobility's Mike, allow communication in only direction at a time unlike a cell phone that allows for simultaneous conversations.

  • New PTT systems are now being introduced that use VoIP technology to provide PTT service digitally over 3G data networks. See VoIP.

    Satellite Phone  
  • A phone that connect callers via satellite.

  • Satellite phones give users a worldwide alternative to sometimes un-reliable digital and analog connections but the systems are costly.

    SAR  [Specific Absorption Rate]
  • SAR Value: Head - SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate which is the unit of measurement for the amount of RF energy absorbed by the head when using a mobile phone.

  • SAR Value: Body - SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate which is the unit of measurement for the amount of RF energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone.

    SDMA  [Space Division Multiple Access]
  • A variation of TDMA and CDMA that potentially will be used in high-bandwidth, third-generation wireless products.

  • A term typically used to describe a next-generation device that combines the functionality of a mobile phone with the enhanced features found in a PDA.

  • Functions such as calendar, telephone book, e-mail, to-do lists, spreadsheets, word processors, and wireless Internet access are typical.

    SMR  [Specialized Mobile Radio]
  • A dispatch radio and interconnect service for businesses.

  • Covers frequencies in the 220 MHZ, 800 MHZ and 900 MHZ bands.

    SMS  [Short Message Service]
  • The transmission of short alphanumeric text-messages to and from a mobile phone, fax machine and/or IP address.

  • Messages must be no longer than 160 alphanumeric characters and contain no images or graphics.

  • Once a message is sent, it is received by a Short Message Service Center (SMSC), which must then get it to the appropriate mobile device.

    SMS Chat  
  • A feature available on some newer phones that allow a user to "chat" with other users via the sms protocol.

  • An open data synchronization protocol enabling data synchronization between mobile devices and networked services.

  • SyncML is a transport, data type, and platform independent technology that is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML).

  • software built into some wireless phones and PDAs that makes typing words on a keypad easier.

  • The competitor to T9 is iTAP. See Predictive Text Entry.

    TACS  [Total Access Communications System]
  • A cell phone system in Europe based on analog (AMPS).

    TDMA  [Time Division Multiple Access]
  • Time Division Multiple Accessding to time. This allows large amounts of voice and data to be transmitted on the same frequency.

  • TDMA runs on two bands: 800MHz and 1,900MHz. TDMA networks are used in North, Central, and South America.

  • TDMA and GSM networks are similar in that they can both share the same migration path to high-speed data: GPRS (2.5G), then EDGE (3G). Also referred to as D-AMPS.

    TFD  [Thin Film Diode]
  • A type of LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) flat-panel display technology.

  • TFD technology combines the excellent image quality and fast response times of TFT, with the low power consumption and low cost of STN.

    TFT  [Thin Film Transistor]
  • An LCD technology that uses transistors to precisely control the voltage to each liquid crystal cell.

  • This is also referred to as an "active matrix" display.

  • TFT screens offer the best image quality and refresh rates, but at a higher cost.

  • A phone capable of operating on three different digital frequencies (example: 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz).

  • A wireless phone that can operate on both the 1900 and 800MHz digital networks, and on the 800MHz analog network.

    UMTS  [Universal Mobile Telecommunications System]
  • A third-generation wireless communications technology and the next generation of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications).

  • UMTS is a wireless standard approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and is intended for advanced wireless communications.

  • UMTS promises high-speed mobile data (up to 2 Mbps) and advanced multimedia capabilities such as streaming video.

    USB  [Universal Serial Bus]
  • A plug-and-play interface between a computer and add-on devices (such as keyboards, phones and PDAs).

  • With USB, a new device can be added to a computer without having to add an adapter card or even having to turn the computer off.

  • USB supports a data speed of 12 megabits per second and is now being incorporated in some cell phones which is useful for synchronizing information with a computer or downloading ringtones.

    VoIP  [Voice over Internet Protocol]
  • A technology for transmitting voice, such as ordinary telephone calls, over the Internet using packet-switched networks. Also called IP telephony.

    WCDMA  [Wideband Code Division Multiple Access]
  • Wideband CDMA is a third-generation (3G) wireless standard which utilizes one 5 MHz channel for both voice and data, initially offering data speeds up to 384 Kbps

  • WCDMA is also referred to as UMTS - the two terms have become interchangeable.

  • WCDMA is the 3G standard that most GSM carriers are moving to.

  •  Parts of the WCDMA standard are based on GSM technology.

  •  WCDMA networks are designed to integrate with GSM networks at certain levels. Most WCDMA phones include GSM as well, for backward compatibility.

  • WCDMA borrows certain technology ideas from CDMA, as the name implies, but is in fact very different and incompatible with phones and networks using "CDMA" technology.

  • In Europe and Asia, WCDMA is being deployed in the all-new 2100 MHz frequency band.

  • In North America, WCDMA is being deployed in the existing 1900 MHz (PCS) and 850 MHz (cellular) bands.

    WAN  [Wide Area Network]
  • A physical or logical network that provides data communications to a larger number of users than are usually served by a local area network (LAN) and is usually spread over a larger geographic area than that of a LAN.

    WAP  [Wireless Application Protocol]
  • A set of standards that enables a wireless phone or other mobile device to browse Internet content optimized for wireless phones.

  • The competitive technology to WAP is I-Mode by Japan's NTT DoCoMo.

    Wi-Fi  [Wireless Fidelity]
  • The popular term for the 802.11b wireless Ethernet standard. See 802.11b.

    Wireless Internet  
  • A technology that enables a cell phone or other wireless device to access specially formatted Internet content via wireless networks.

  • Several different standards exists: HDML, WML, cHTML, and xHTML.

  • Also known as "Wireless Web" or "WAP".